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Institutional Transformations, Polity and Economic Outcomes; Testing the North-Wallis-Weingast Doorsteps Framework

Author

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  • Marc G Quintyn
  • Sophia Gollwitzer

Abstract

This paper tests the theoretical framework developed by North, Wallis and Weingast (2009) on the transition from closed to open access societies. They posit that societies need to go through three doorsteps: (i) the establishment of rule of law among elites; (ii) the adoption of perpetually existing organizations; and (iii) the political control of the military. We identify indicators reflecting these doorsteps and graphically test the correlation between them and a set of political and economic variables. Finally, through Identification through Heteroskedasticity we test these relationships econometrically. The paper broadly confirms the logic behind the doorsteps as necessary steps in the transition to open access societies. The doorsteps influence economic and political processes, as well as each other, with varying intensity. We also identify income inequality as a potentially important force leading to social change.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc G Quintyn & Sophia Gollwitzer, 2012. "Institutional Transformations, Polity and Economic Outcomes; Testing the North-Wallis-Weingast Doorsteps Framework," IMF Working Papers 12/87, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/87
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zak, Paul J. & Feng, Yi, 2003. "A dynamic theory of the transition to democracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-25, September.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    3. Marc G Quintyn & Sophia Gollwitzer, 2010. "The Effectiveness of Macroeconomic Commitment in Weak(er) Institutional Environments," IMF Working Papers 10/193, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    7. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
    9. Douglass C. North & John Joseph Wallis & Barry R. Weingast, 2006. "A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History," NBER Working Papers 12795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Robert H. Bates, 2006. "Institutions and Development," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 10-61, April.
    12. Marc G Quintyn & Genevieve Verdier, 2010. "Mother, Can I Trust the Government? Sustained Financial Deepening; A Political Institutionsview," IMF Working Papers 10/210, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corinne Del├ęchat & Ejona Fuli & Dafina Glaser & Gustavo Ramirez & Rui Xu, 2015. "Exiting From Fragility in sub-Saharan Africa; The Role of Fiscal Policies and Fiscal Institutions," IMF Working Papers 15/268, International Monetary Fund.

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